Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Personal Studies

In contrast to the sciences, the areas I call personal studies are not nearly as well developed. Studies of the human body are often considered within the realm of science, but psychology is much less well organized than, for instance, biology. Biography is often considered part of history. I haven't found a better name for the collected study of human beings as individuals.

This depends quite heavily on the sciences, most notably biology, although the other sciences do have contributions. People are social beings, and much of their behavior is so connected to others that the personal studies are seriously incomplete without the various areas of anthropology. Language, literature, graphics, mathematics, applied sciences, and philosophy are also vital. These subjects are closely connected to customs, occupations, sports and games, performing arts, and various events, and supplemented by a huge range of objects and materials. Families are more important in personal studies than they are in science, but education, economics, government, and religion are no less significant. The scientifically-oriented aspects of personal studies are best known from western civilization, although other peoples have much to contribute. Studies of the human body began in antiquity and in classical and medieval times, but there was a great deal of speculation and inaccuracy until modern times. Psychology as a science hardly existed before the 19th century, and gross errors still persist. Fortunately, there is a great deal of information in biography that can possibly be applied to it.

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